Washington's scouts and the sabermetric analysts in their front office both agreed that Detroit starter Doug Fister was an "undervalued asset" and good fit for the Nationals' rotation, General Manager Mike Rizzo told reporters, including NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman, after the Nats acquired the 29-year-old right-hander in a 3-for-1 deal with the Tigers this winter. "'We like the entire package with him,'" Rizzo said. "'We also liked that he had multiple years of control and [is] a guy that we think can grow with the Nationals.'"
Two years of control at what the GM said was a "comfortable cost" were important to the Nats when they decided to deal 25-year-old infielder Steve Lombardozzi and 22-year-old lefties Ian Krol and Robbie Ray to the Tigers. Fister, who will turn 30 in February, was coming off a (10-10) season in 2012 that saw him put up a 3.45 ERA, a 3.42 FIP, 37 walks (2.06 BB/9) and 137 Ks (7.63 K/9) in 26 starts and 161 2/3 IP over which he was worth +3.5 fWAR when he signed a 1-year/$4M deal with Detroit last January, avoiding arbitration.
In 2013, in the right-hander's fifth major league season, he was (14-9) with a 3.67 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 44 walks (1.90 BB/9) and 159 Ks (6.86 K/9) in 33 games, 32 starts and 208 2/3 IP over which he was worth +4.6 fWAR.
MLBTraderumors.com's arbitration projections have the 6'8'' starter getting $6.9M in 2014. With the Nationals and Fister unable to agree on a deal before this afternoon, they were required to submit figures for arbitration. The two sides can still reach a deal, but if they don't they will go to arbitration at some point between February 1st and 21st.
CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman reported on Twitter that the Nats and their new starter are $2.75M apart on the initial salary figures:
Fister files at $8.5M, nats $5.75M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 17, 2014
WIll the Nationals and Fister bridge that gap, meet in the middle and avoid going to arbitration?
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